Buying Guide for Inline Skate Bearings
By Steve Kopitz
Buying bearings for your inline skates is not as hard as it seems. We at inlineskates.com are here to explain the different types of bearings and hopefully it will make it easy for you to figure out which bearings are best for you.
Inline Skate Bearing Basics
Before you get started you need to know what size bearings your skates will accommodate. Most skates out there use 8mm bearings and know how many bearings you need when comparing. All wheels require two bearings so if you need to replace bearings for all eight wheels for example you will need a 16 pack of bearings or two eights or you get the picture.
Inline Skate Bearing Ratings
Most bearings on the market today use the ABEC system, which is a standardized system that was designed originally for bearings that are used in machinery. The ABEC scale runs from 1-9, the higher the bearing number the better the precision. Other factors need to be accounted for, such as you can’t put an ABEC 9 in a 72mm wheel and expect blazing speed. If you are going with an ABEC 9 bearing you are going to want to pair it in a wheel with a size of 90mm so you get maximum performance.
ILQ and SG
A system that was designed specifically for K2 and Rollerblade brand skates is the ILQ and SG ratings; these systems use the same number scale as the ABEC system with the higher number being the more precise bearing.
Titanium, Swiss and Ceramic bearings are also out on the market and are a higher end bearing that are typically used by folks looking for high performance. The Titanium bearings will hold their shape longer, Ceramic bearings produce less friction so they spin faster and Swiss bearings legend has it have higher standards when being manufactured. These types of bearings are usually found in roller hockey skates as players are looking for the maximum advantage while competing.
Insight from the Experts
Before you go shopping for a new set of bearings consider the type of skating you are doing, and even talk to others, including the pros here at inlineskates.com with our friendly Customer Service associates who can be reached at 888-271-7500. The bearings you want to buy should reflect the type of skating you are looking to do.